People like my mother and Judy Dean stand in stark contrast to our national obsession with consumption. Our "Supersize Me!" society has so elevated the manufactured over the meaningful that when somebody dares question the value of our collective covetousness we react like they've impugned the legitimacy of the scriptures.
In their rejection of our fixation on the fashionable, these anti-Trumps suddenly become the little boy pointing out that despite our designer clothes, top-of-the-line SUVs, and plasma TVs, we're really just a bunch of emperors in expensive birthday suits, trying unsuccessfully to buy our way to happiness.
Consumer debt is at an all-time high as are the number of people filing for bankruptcy -- 1.5 million in 2002. Americans are now spending 14 percent of their income to pay off debt while less than 2 percent of their earnings is being saved. Who can worry about retirement or a rainy day when Best Buy is having a sale on digital camcorders?
Of course, this culturewide shopping spree is happening on the watch of our conservative leaders. Conservatism is supposed to stand in clear counterpoint to the excesses of the counterculture -- with responsibility, self-discipline, and living within one's means replacing the "if it feels good, do it" ethos.
But George Bush and his corporate cronies have sacrificed these values on the altar of consumption: "If it feels good, buy it!"
In a political atmosphere dizzy from spin, how refreshing to come across a simple red -- or simple blue -- sweater-wearing wife, mother and professional woman so willing to speak not from a set of pre-packaged talking points, but from her heart.
"I have a medical practice, which I love, but I also love Howard," she explained when asked why, after all this time, she'd finally decided to step out of the political shadows. "I think he'd make a terrific president."
And she'd make one hell of a first lady.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.